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The holiday season has a way of bringing out the best in people, and through the years I have found Mainers to be very generous people.

Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

For nearly 30 years, I have been an active Rotarian in my community and have seen how Mainers working together improve their communities with simple acts of kindness.

As we gather around the table this Thanksgiving, let us reflect on how we can make a difference. Donate food to a local pantry, spend time with a disabled adult or visit a senior at a local nursing home.

To learn more about volunteering in your area, call 2-1-1. There are many opportunities to better the lives of others, if only we take the time.

Recently, I joined the Salvation Army to kick off its Annual Kettle Campaign. This year’s goal is to raise 800,000 dollars, all of which goes to provide services and programs to men, women and children during the holidays and throughout the year.

So, the next time you hear the sound of a ringing bell and see the red kettle, consider making a donation. You’ll be giving back to your community and perhaps even a neighbor in need.

While a donation can go a long way, your time can too. I have rung countless kettle bells on cold winter afternoons and served hot meals to seniors who are homebound. Volunteering your time is as valuable as a dollar, and for me it is often more rewarding.

Let us also be reminded that Mainers hit hard times no matter the season. So, as the holiday spirit starts to fade, we should not forget the spirit of giving back is needed year round.

Thank you for listening, and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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